Monday, January 26, 2015

4th Annual Eddie Guardado Stars and Strikes Celebrity Bowling Tournament 1-25-15

Last night was the 4th Annual Eddie Guardado Stars and Strikes Celebrity Bowling Tournament. This is one of my favorite charity events to go. I've attended the event the last four years and every year was great. Scheduled guests this year included current and former Angels such as Josh Hamilton, Jered Weaver, Adam Kennedy, Garrett Anderson, Gary Pettis, Gary Matthews Jr, and Troy Percival. Due to scheduling conflicts since a lot of fanfests were held the previous day the regulars that didn't show up to the event were Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Torii Hunter and Michael Young.

This year I had low expectations in terms of graphing since I figured most of the guys wouldn't show up. Thus I didn't prep much especially since I had items signed by a bunch of these guys the previous years i've attended the event. I had small goals this year, the main goal which was getting my game used Gary Matthews Jr. bat signed, which was given to me by my friend Jerry a few years ago. Thanks again for the bat Jerry.  Since Gary isn't around much this was my one and only shot. I was so upset last year for not bringing the bat since he was a surprise guest to the event.

The first autograph I got was from Adam Kennedy. I had this photo of him as a Dodger for several years now but was too lazy to carry it around. Adam also signed a card for me.

Next up was the biggest shock of the night, Jered Weaver. Weaver is considered to be the most difficult autograph to obtain in person on the Angels roster. To put things into perspective Albert Pujols signs more autographs than Jered Weaver at the stadium. Another way to look at it is for every 100 Mike Trout autographs at the stadium you get about 1 Jered Weaver autograph signed in person.  Normally he's not in a good mood and when he does sign which is a rare occasion he likes to side panel baseballs or run with a sharpie. Today he was surprisingly in a good mood and knocked out about 20 autographs before heading inside the event. He was sweetspotting baseballs without even asking and was switching pens for different items. It was surreal. Jered was kind enough to sign my 2010 All Star baseball under the logo.

The last time I got his autograph was back in 2012 when he had a free signing at Pechanga Casino. Before that I got him at Angels Fanfest back in 2011. It was nice to finally upgrade and get a baseball signed in blue pen under the all star logo.

Next up was Gary Matthews Jr. who was surprised that I brought a bat for him to sign. He even checked the model number to check if it was indeed game used. He was nice to the fans and kindly signed my bat with his natural cycle inscription.

The rest of the night I ended up getting a few more cards signed. I still don't know why I carry these things around. Maybe it's because I don't like getting shutout at autograph opportunities. I wish I had direction with cards like my friends Ryan or Alex who are collecting topps heritage sets. Maybe I should go hardcore and collect the entire upcoming 2015 Topps Heritage set. But then again I got enough stuff I want to get signed (ie jerseys, baseballs, bats, etc). I have hundreds of cards signed but they are all sitting in folders collecting dust. If anyone wants to buy them let me know. 

Last but not least I got cards signed by Matt Treanor and Brennan Boesch

Overall it was a fun experience graphing with everyone.

First Post of 2015: Chan Ho Park

I wanted to dedicate the first entry of 2015 to one of my all time favorite baseball players; Chan Ho Park. He's a cult hero among Korean baseball fans since he was the first Korean baseball player to play in major league baseball. What was even more special was that he played for the hometown Dodgers.

I've had several encounters with him years ago prior to my days as a grapher when I would actually go to a baseball game to watch baseball. My first encounter of getting his autograph was back at Shea Stadium in 2008 when I saw him play against the Mets. I was actually wearing his jersey when I went to see the Dodgers play the Mets. I was getting taunted by all the crazy New York Mets fans but it was nice to wear a one of a kind Dodgers jersey in enemy territory. During BP while he was fielding fly balls in left field he saw my jersey and came over to sign. I was probably the only fan in the stadium wearing his jersey so he had to come over and sign. This was the time when I didn't know what a paint pen was or what type of pen to use on autographs. Someone had a black sharpie which I borrowed and he ended up signing my jersey, not on the jersey number but the actual jersey itself.

This was my first ever autograph on a jersey which pretty much made my day since it was signed by my favorite player. I didn't realize it then but that planted a seed which led to my obsession of collecting autographs.

Just like any veteran collector you always try to upgrade your collection. Before graphing I collected jerseys so I had two more Chan Ho Park jerseys in stock. The one that was signed at Shea was worn several times by me since I'd wear it to every Dodger or any other baseball game. Thus it wasn't in the best condition and now i'd never even think of getting a jersey not signed on the jersey number.

Over the years I tried hunting down Chan Ho to get his autograph. He made an appearance at Dodger Stadium last year and had a free signing but I had work conflicts which prevented me from getting another shot at his autograph. Two years ago he was a special guest by the Dodgers when they faced the Braves in the playoffs. I brought my jersey but was denied by security. I always wanted to get the road jersey signed and finally it happened a few weeks ago when Chan Ho was in town at a paid signing at Frank and Sons sponsored by Honabach and Sons. (on a side note everyone knows I boycott their signings refer to the link)

However I didn't pay for the auto but ended up running into him later that day and ended up getting the road jersey signed for free. Chan Ho was a class act as he carefully signed my road jersey on the jersey number with my deco marker.

Now the next project is getting another home jersey done.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

2nd Annual Barnyard Wiffleball Invitational 12-14-14

I decided to check out Brandon Barnes' 2nd Annual Barnyard Wiffleball Invitational Tournament today at The Office Sports Academy in Anaheim. This was a charity event hosted by Colorado Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes to help support the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Entry to the event was $5.

Scheduled MLB players to be in attendance were Joe Kelly, Tyler Matzek, CJ Wilson, Mark Trumbo, Christian Colon, Nolan Arenado and Justin Turner.

I arrived at the Office Sports Academy at around 10am and the entire building was already packed.

The first autograph I got today was from Joe Kelly who signed an 11x14 for me. Joe was sitting in the stands just watching the wiffleball game. Ironically the backdrop was a replica of Fenway Park which is his home ballpark he plays at for the Boston Red Sox. Here he is pictured below with the TACO cap.

I like how he signed his autograph really large on the photo. Joe was cool with the fans as he ended up signing multiples for all the graphers today. Later on during the day I also got two cards signed as well.

Afterwards I took photos of Brandon Barnes' wiffleball team which comprised of Tyler Matzek, Justin Turner and Christian Colon. Here is a photo below of Brandon pitching.

Here is a few photos showing Tyler, Justin and Brandon watching Christian take some cuts.

After the game I ended up getting Tyler Matzek to sign a card for me. Brandon Barnes and Christian Colon signed an 8x10 for me. I also ended up getting a Big West baseball signed by Christian Colon for my friend Jose who couldn't make it out to the event today.

Afterwards I ended up getting Mark Trumbo to sign a 12x18 for me and with the help of my friend Phil I was able to get an 11x14 photo done as well. It was nice to finally get these photos signed. I had these photos for about two years now. Mark as usual wasn't in a good mood and he grudgingly signed for everyone. Basically with Mark you get your one and leave. It's never a good idea to try double dipping on him.

The toughest autograph to obtain by far was Nolan Arenado today. He would sign sporadically for a few then leave, then sign again and leave. He was a popular target among graphers since he just won back to back Gold Glove Awards so everyone had a Gold Glove ball ready for him. Nolan was kind enough to sign an 11x14 photo for me along with a Gold Glove ball today.

The only no show was CJ Wilson at the event or at least I thought he was going to be a no show. As I said my goodbyes to all my friends in the graphing community I ran into CJ at the parking lot. He arrived at the event in the afternoon. I ended up getting CJ to sign an 11x14 along with a 2011 All Star Game baseball with the 1st All Star inscription.

I want to thank Brandon Barnes for running another successful and well organized event. It was nice to go to an event where all the invited guests actually showed up. I also want to give a shout out to all the graphers. It was nice running into my summer baseball family and spending a nice afternoon with them.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Clayton Kershaw Appearance at the LA Auto Show 11-30-14

Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to make an appearance at the LA Auto Show today from 12-1pm at the Acura Booth. During the entire week there was speculation that the event was cancelled since the flyer was taken down on the LA Auto Show website. Nobody was certain if any outside items were allowed to be signed as well. My goal today was to get my road grey Kershaw jersey signed.

I arrived at the LA Convention Center at around 11pm.

There were already about 100 people in line.

Kershaw arrived a bit late around 12:15 and went inside the Acura booth.

I'm pretty certain all of the Acura employees got their Kershaw items signed.

Clayton also did an interview for Acura as well.

The line ran through quickly since Kershaw wasn't signing any outside items. There was also no photos allowed as the guards were strict about taking photos of Kershaw signing near the table.

I ended up with this fancy Acura promotional photo signed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Steve Garvey and Friends feat Reggie Jackson at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino

I decided to check out the Steve Garvey and Friends dinner featuring Reggie Jackson at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino yesterday.

The cost of the dinner was $40 and featured a three course meal along with baseball stories from Steve Garvey and Reggie Jackson, who happened to be the guest of honor at the event. The dinner was scheduled to take place at 6:30pm.

When I arrived at the casino I met up with my friends Jeremy and Spencer. Our goal was to get Reggie Jackson's autograph tonight and to also enjoy dinner and to listen to old baseball stories told by both Reggie Jackson and Steve Garvey.

Both Reggie Jackson and Steve Garvey arrived promptly on time for the event.

The first course was the signature salad which contained shaved vegetables, herb flowers, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, and sherry citrus vinaigrette.

The main entree was either a top sirloin 10oz steak or garlic roasted petaluma chicken breast. I chose the steak which was damn good.

Dessert was chocolate bread pudding with candied kumquat creme anglaise.

Throughout the night both Garvey and Jackson recounted stories of their illustrious baseball careers and discussed how they felt when they faced each other and during critical moments of their careers like in the World Series. Reggie also discussed the story of his life how he came up from humble beginnings growing up in Wyncote which is a small town north of Philadelphia. He also discussed how much racism he had to endure while he was in the minors and mentioned how thankful he was for his teammates who protected him during those tough times.

There was also a Q and A session at the end of the night as well.

After the event was over Steve Garvey set up an autograph table for anyone who wanted his autograph or Reggie's autograph. It was well organized as everyone who got in line ended up getting an autograph. I ended up getting three baseballs signed by Reggie; an HOF ball, 2008 All Star ball since he threw out the first pitch, and a standard ROMLB.

My buddy Spencer ended up getting his jersey signed along with a Reggie Jackson plaque.

Overall it was another fun night of graphing and one of the rare nights I actually walked away from a casino feeling like a winner.

Signature Salad
Baby Greens, Shaved Vegetables, Herb Flowers, Nuts and Seeds, Dried Fruits, Sherry Citrus Vinaigrette - See more at:
Signature Salad
Baby Greens, Shaved Vegetables, Herb Flowers, Nuts and Seeds, Dried Fruits, Sherry Citrus Vinaigrette - See more at: